Road trips, I love them. Roadtrippers is probably, without a doubt, my most visited travel site. Last year I was able to take quite a few of them and while most of them were in-state, they still helped to feed my wanderlust. Sadly, I had so many closer destinations that I wasn’t able to get them all documented here. This year though, I plan to do better about travel tales.
When it comes to “getting away from it all,” many road trippers opt to enjoy the many amazing, closer-to-home sights from the comfort of their own vehicles. There is nothing like the feeling of the open road.
When planning a getaway, remember that road trips can be tough on cars, and few things can turn a road trip into a nightmare quicker than breaking down in the middle of nowhere.
So, before you load the car and take off, make sure that your vehicle is in tip-top condition.
A pre-trip inspection as part of an overall maintenance program can give you peace of mind and help prevent costly repairs.
Inspect and repair, if needed, the following:
- Radiator and cooling system, including water pump, fan and thermostat
- Brakes, brake pads and brake linings
- Battery and cables
- Belts and hoses
- Engine oil and oil filter
- Wiper blades and washer fluid
- Tire pressure and overall tire condition (including the spare).
- Most importantly, don’t leave on a long trip with your car’s “Check Engine” light on.
The Check Engine light appears when your vehicle’s On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) computer detects a problem. According to several state Air Pollution Control Districts, the Check Engine light is designed to limit air pollution, as well as alert drivers to a condition that can waste fuel, shorten engine life and result in potentially expensive repairs.
If the light does come on, a quick check of your vehicle’s service manual can often identify the problem and a course of action.
Those who take their car to a mechanic often find that technicians use a diagnostic tool to scan their vehicle and access trouble codes at a cost of $55 to $100.